For your stray attention this weekend
On monk mode and messiahs
It’s been one of those weeks when you can taste change in the air, and not just because of yesterday’s solstice.
I turned 46 on Monday, and reflected that I really like being this age - it feels substantial somehow. I’ve always felt about 46 anyway, so it’s nice to be here. For my birthday, I received some new winter Birkenstocks (as you will know from Friday’s newsletter, that’s the closest I’ll get to tagging the labels I wear), a fresh pair of slippers, and Bert made me a bee plushie out of an old yellow sock. I named her Princess Beetrice. It was a good day.
On the morning of my birthday, I finally finished the proposal for my next book and sent it off to my agent, who immediately told me to get the hell out of my inbox and to start enjoying myself instead. This is why I adore her. But it felt like an auspicious day to send it out into the world, kicking off a new cycle of work and thought that will see me through the next couple of years. I say that with my fingers crossed because nobody has commissioned it yet, but I’m optimistic. I like it, anyway.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I work lately. Last week, I came across a piece in my notebook from about a year ago, bemoaning how much time I spend on emails, and how little I write. I didn’t immediately solve that problem - far from it - but for the last few months, I think I’ve cracked it. In essence, I’ve started putting my writing first, quite literally, by reserving my mornings for writing (reading, making research notes, editing, staring into the middle distance), and staying out of my inbox until it’s done.
To make that happen, I’ve started writing at a different desk from the place I do admin.
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